Back from a month in Europe and we had a good time there. Two weeks in Sweden, touring in a motor home and the rest in my native the Netherlands, visiting family and filling our bellies with Dutch goodies like drop and kroketten.
If you have never been to Sweden then I heartily recommend you to visit it. Beautiful scenery with free camping wherever you like and wonderful people who have a very relaxed lifestyle. And they all speak English, too. We rented this motor home….
…and after two days of acclimatizing we parked it in the driveway of Rune and Heide, SM5COP and SM5NZG respectively. Rune was the first Swedish contact in my Taiwanese logbook and I had mailed him some questions before our trip, which he answered more than elaborately. We hadn’t planned to visit his part of Sweden, but the invitation to celebrate the midsommar festivities with them was more than worth the detour. Rune and Heide are such friendly and hospitable people and their guest book shows this abundantly. Rune took us fishing, swimming and rowing on the nearby lake and Heide showed us how her bees keep the honey flowing in (over 300 kg already, this year). Rune also gave us a tour of Strängnäs on the first hot day of the year in Sweden: 27 degrees Celsius. Coming from Taiwan we had less problems with it than Rune did, the poor guy.
We did little ham radio stuff as we were too busy with other fun things (and jet lagged), but I did admire the 40+ meter tower with mono-band antennas in his garden a lot. What a dedication went in to the building of this marvelous outfit, not at least because Rune and Heide moved to their present location especially to be able to do this. Can’t think of a more dedicated ham couple. Their shack features various TenTec rigs and a K3 line with scope and 500W amp. I tuned around a lot, heard some familiar calls from Asia, some from Field Day stations in the US and a lot of Italians. Ah, as if I never left Europe. The one and only QSO I made was with ON5DN and what a nice chat with Diane in Dutch it was.
Apart from the Taiwanese treats I also wanted to bring something special and personal, so I delved into my small key collection and parted with my Chinese DX20-1 straight key. A lot of SKCC contacts were made with this key, but in the hands of two experienced hams like Rune and Heide it would be of much better use.
After getting a lot of honey from Heide and some good advice from Rune we parted to experience more of amazing Sweden.